Grizzly #427: Not many people are familiar with grizzly #427 in Yellowstone National Park. #427 calls south and central Yellowstone his home. Frequently throughout his life, he has been observed on various spawning streams surrounding Yellowstone Lake. He has been dubbed the infamous “Preacher Bear.” Few visitors have been given the opportunity to watch #427 in action as he fishes for Cutthroat Trout in Little Thumb Creek, or Arnica Creek. No matter the case, when #427 does emerge as a ‘ghost’ from the wilderness, he doesn’t disappoint. In past years, others have watched him furiously attempt to break through thick ice near Bluff Point, or even rip through an old overwintered carcass near Old Faithful.
We really only have a little snapshot of #427 life, and that was by pure accident. He was suspected to be a possible nuisance bear in the Bridge Bay Campground area in Lake District, and was captured for management purposes on June 16, 2003 at 6 years-old. At the time he was captured, he was fitted with a radio collar, relocated, and later released. On September 22, 2003, he was captured at Arnica Creek, YNP. In 2005, #427 cast his collar. He would not be collared again until June 21, 2016, when he was captured at Flat Mountain Arm and fitted with a new radio collar. As of 2018, #427 is currently 21 years-old. Most bears in Yellowstone live to be 25-30 years old.
Figure 2: Known life history and range of grizzly #427 in Yellowstone National Park between 2003 and 2017. This map depicts areas where #427 has been captured and areas where visitors have submitted credible observations. The area highlighted and filled green is the area where 95%+ observations of #427 have been documented since 2003. The area highlighted in orange represents the area where #427 has been observed but infrequently. Grizzly #427 could use this area, but the exact use of this area is unknown unless referring to Iridium GPS data from 2016-present. Only visual observations from visitors during 2015-2017 are noted on this figure. This figure is not a representation of actual home range. A minimum convex polygon (MCP) would estimate #427 range approximately ~480 km2 between 2003-2017.
Tyler Brasington is a native born and raised Pennsylvanian, yet proud current Wisconsin resident. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a B.S. in Environmental Science. Currently, Tyler is pursuing his masters in Natural Resources with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He has worked in Yellowstone National Park under the guidance and supervision of Dr. George Clokey and Dr. Jim Halfpenny.
Disclaimer: The information and views expressed on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Interior, US Geological Survey, National Park Service or the United States Government.
The Greater Yellowstone Grizzly Project
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